Dave Daiwoo, the Ministry of Transport’s consultant, said that one of the priorities of his superior, Samuel A. Wlue, Minister of Transport, is to protect Liberia’s roads from further deterioration as the Pro-poor Agenda and its partners continue to build more roads.
According to Daiwoo, to construct just a kilometer of road cost is around US$1 million.
Mr. Daiwoo made the statement on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 in Monrovia, at a program marking the kickoff of the Axle Load Control (ALC) training where 23 Transport Ministry staff attended the training at a resort in Monrovia.
He said the intent of the initiative is to protect the country’s road network from further deterioration, “because road building is capital intensive.”
GIZ International Services in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport (MoT), with funding from the European Union (EU), Tuesday, March 19, commenced a four-day training aimed at maintaining road networks in the country.
The ALC is intended to safeguard the different corridors of roads built in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“This is the reason Liberia has decided to embrace the idea by passing the Axle Load Control law in 2016 to ensure that our Road Safety and road networks regulations are adhered to, because Road Safety plus Axle Load Control is equal to total Traffic Safety” Mr. Daiwoo said.
He emphasized the importance of enforcing ALC and Liberia’s road regulations, which was prepared by the MoT in 2015 and passed by the Legislature in 2016.
The training focuses on building the participants’ capacities about international (European Union) and regional legal framework and to help (participants) gain understanding of legal harmonization standards and requirements of the ALC.
According to Mr. Daiwoo, the 4-day training will further develop the trainees to assess and improve their practical skills with respect to legal and technical application of the regional regulations on the ALC.
“We have the Lofa road project ongoing and Ganta to Fish Town. Theses road networks require some level of maintenance and preservation. Interestingly, this initiative has come to benefit the country, especially the durability and protection of our roads,” Mr. Daiwoo said.
He disclosed that the ongoing two-year project will enable Liberia to study on where weigh stations are needed in the future for a long-term sustainability.
“Currently, we started with mobile wheel load scales and will move to train the young brigades on how they can weigh trucks and enforce other regulations,” he said.
Commenting on the enforcement, Mr. Daiwoo said, “We are hoping to work with the Liberia National Police and other law enforcement officers.
Cllr. Jamal C. Dehtho Jr, co-trainer and lawyer, said there is a need for MoT staff to be aware on how the laws are and how Liberia can apply them nationally.
“Staff of the Ministry of Transport needs to know the minimum weight a vehicle can carry. We want to train these people to know how the law is available and how it can be implemented,” Dehtho said.
According to him, the GIZ International Services and Transport Ministry will conduct series of training workshops to ensure that Liberia maintains its roads.
“The 23 staff are basically Monrovia-based. We expect to take the training to other counties,” he said, adding: “there will be stages where if the truck is overloaded, the driver will have to reduce the load and the truck will be taken to a weigh station.”
Martin Buse, a German legal expert, said the training is to educate the participants on the legal aspect of the ALC as it remains crucial.
“MoT staff needs to understand the international, regional and the Liberian laws on the ALC, especially harmonizing it. We need to make participants understand the technical specifications of the ECOWAS ALC supplementary Act,” Mr. Buse said.
He further stated that the overall objective is to contribute to the effective implementation of the Axle load legislation in Liberia by contributing to establishing a management structure within MOT which leads to developing standards and procedures for enforcement of harmonized standards and procedures within the region and the continent.
According to the heavy vehicle Axle Load Regulations of 2016 on dimension, weigh and limiting load “no vehicle, including protrusions and payload, may be higher than four meters from the road surface.”
The regulations on width also state that, “no vehicle, including protrusions and payload, may be wider than 2.55 meters with these exceptions.” The regulations further state that “vehicles equipped for carriage at controlled temperatures may have width 2.6 meters, trailers fitted with twist locks for carriage of containers may have seven or 14 meters in length.”